Anyone still out there? Man, how did all these cobwebs get in this place? Sheesh. Lemme clean this place up a bit and see if we can't sit down and have some tea. Wow. You look great. What's been going on in your world to give you such a glow?
Where to begin? Lord Jesus. For those kind souls who have been reading this awhile, pardon the repeating info here. I began this blog eons ago in an attempt to share a tips on living frugally in a socially conscious manner and to keep myself on the path of a consciously frugal life. Talking about this crap helps me to stay immersed in it, lest I fall into the American Consumer sink hole of idiocy. Like most folks, I wander the path quite well most of the time and occasionally wander off course here and there, usually course correcting before anything catastrophic happens. Usually. I also deftly avoided monetizing and/or promoting the crap out of this thing. I don't want it to be commodified (is that a word?). I have other avenues to generate money. I have loved--absolutely loved--the process by which readership and community has grown. I've made friends from this sucker. Dammit, internet and blogging, I love you.
Over the past couple of years, I managed to get out of credit card debt (hollah!), kill my car and spend more than a year as a car-free person in Los Angeles (seriously dudes? Shit ain't easy), buy a new-to-me car, and get knocked down by some serious health issues. Thankfully, I am back on my feet post health drama, although it's still a work in progress and probably always will be. But around this time last year, I couldn't walk and couldn't work. Praise the Baby Jesus and all the fishies in the sea, I am now working away and working out regularly. Back on my feet in a most literal sense.
When I got out of debt and lived my car-free life, I thought I was set. Finally! All those years of learning the frugal trade and living the frugal life paid off! I could afford to do absolutely scandalous things like hire cleaning help, buy art, and drink excessively. Oh wait, I've always done the latter. But it was glorious. And then, illness hit and hit hard. I had savings, but not enough. I mean, it's not like I have kids or something, right? And I have health insurance, so it's not like I needed to have shit tons of money sitting around in a savings account. Just enough to get by in case of an emergency, which I always assumed would only be the loss of a job. Yanno, as if I were immune to the leading cause of bankruptcy (it's medical expenses if you don't want to click on the link). Apparently, I'm not special. Not immune.
For three months, my salary was hacked and my expenses went through the roof. My primary care doctors are mind bogglingly incompetent, so I had to pay for the majority of my care out of pocket. I racked up a good chunk of debt in the process while eating through my savings. Fun times, y'all. Fun times.
There are new circumstances that will cause some money hiccups that I'll get into at a later time, but needless to say, I've had to get back on my game (and my blogging, because it's part of my getting-my-crap-in-line process) and, for the first time in eons, I am doing freelance work (in addition to volunteering. So much going on!) to bring in extra money to help beat the debt back down. Lots and lots of work ahead of me. Thankfully, I like what I do. Writing words on a glowing rectangle in an effort to help folks is a good gig. I'm lucky.
Most importantly? Now I know, via the most valuable kind of knowledge--first hand experience. I stopped ignoring my health issues, thinking they would vanish if abandoned. (Brilliant, right? I can't believe I haven't won the MacArthur genius grant yet!) I understand that emergencies come in all forms, not just job loss. Not having kids doesn't mean I don't need to be prepared for a multitude of potential catastrophes. But dammit, y'all, if I'm not pissed as hell about being back in credit card debt. Took me a year to get back into it and will likely take two years to get back out of it. Time to pick up my frugal living tools and knock that fucker out. Ready? Set. Here we go!